Tech Review - Tracked Feller Bunchers


Barko Tracked Feller Bunchers are designed with precision and built for serious work. The company consulted experienced forestry professionals on every design feature during the engineering process to create an intuitive, operator-focused feller buncher that increases efficiencies on any jobsite.

Barko chose electrohydraulic controls for smooth functionality, and a dedicated attachment pump delivers optimal performance. The spacious operator cab was created to make an operator’s job better with increased visibility, enhanced lighting, heated and cooled air-ride seat, programmable controls, and a large touchscreen display for superior control.

A 225 hp Cummins QSB6.7 Tier 4 Final diesel engine packs a powerful punch while delivering superior fuel economy to help reduce operating costs. Both models provide exceptional drawbar pull. The 240B is a 50,000-pound class machine with a D5 undercarriage and 7.5-inch chain pitch that offers ground clearance of 26.2 inches and compact track width of 9 feet, 4 inches. The 260B is a 60,000-pound class machine featuring a larger D7A undercarriage with 8-inch chain pitch that offers ground clearance of 29 inches and track width of 11 feet, 1.5 inches, with 700-mm pads.

Barko’s patented forward-sliding cab design, engine gullwing door, and removable access panels make these machines easy to maintain and repair. The tracked feller bunchers feature high-quality components designed to work under the toughest conditions.

ELTEC - Technologies ElementELTEC - Technologies Element

ELTEC offers a full line of feller bunchers, from the 220 to the 410. All boast a heavy-duty leveling system and have been designed to simplify the forester’s work. The system has a larger tilt angle, guaranteeing that the feller buncher works at the right angle, even in extreme forestry conditions.

The ELTEC 220 Series is powered by a highly fuel-efficient Cummins diesel engine and an enhanced hydraulic system. The heart of the hydraulic system is the engine-driven, series-mounted, variable displacement axial piston pumps that provide high flow performance. A fifth dedicated hydraulic pump is added for feller buncher saw head operations.

The heavy-duty forestry boom and arm with dual boom main cylinders of the 220 series is designed and built to withstand the lifting and twisting forces of the toughest forestry harvesting operations. Machines in the ELTEC 220 Series are also available in a harvester configuration complete with a long-reach harvester boom and arm and dedicated harvester hydraulic pump.

The ELTEC 410 Series is able to handle a variety of demanding harvesting applications. The boom and stick with two boom cylinders are designed and built to withstand the most difficult forestry operations. A very long wheelbase ensures that the chassis-carrier has better stability, and the boom system allows the machine operator to extend and retract the boom on a horizontal plane smoothly and quickly using a single joystick. Well-designed structures and the highest quality materials ensure durability with excellent capacity-to-weight ratio.

John DeereJohn Deere Construction & Forestry

John Deere M-Series tracked feller bunchers are available in six models ranging from the 803M to the 959M. With various improvements over previous models, the increase in horsepower and longer, wider undercarriage provide customers maximum power and stability. Further enhancing the M-Series and solidifying John Deere’s commitment to innovation, these models deliver additional jobsite technology solutions. Within its portfolio of Precision Forestry solutions, John Deere offers improved technological solutions designed to increase overall efficiency and productivity in the woods.

Offering enhanced performance, the M-Series machines are compatible with TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager. One of the key benefits of the software solutions is the ability to plan work that needs to get done in a day. The map provides the precise location, volume, and species of timber within the network of logging routes. As timber is transported, the operator can mark the map to indicate it has occurred, providing an exact volume count of the timber taken to the landing. This ultimately assists in simplifying planning for trailer transports and the onward movement of timber.

Building upon the technological advancements available, JDLink telematics remotely connects John Deere customers to their equipment through a web-based interface on the JDLink Dashboard or the JDLink mobile app. JDLink provides information on machine data, including location, performance, health, and usage. Machine health data and alerts are critical inputs to improving machine uptime and lowering costs. These features enable operators to view real-time production and location information, which means fewer visits to the jobsite and increased visibility.


Komatsu offers a variety of tracked fellers bunchers — the XT430-3 and XT430L-3, the XT430-5, the XT445L-5, and the XT465L-5. All feature cutting-edge technology, impressive stability, ergonomics, and economy.

The XT430-3 and XT430L-3 boast a modern forestry cab with a state-of-the-art control system and superior ergonomics. Combined with multiple boom arm and saw head options, powerful swing torque, tractive effort, and robust undercarriage deliver excellent productivity and reliability.

The 331 HP XT430-5 features gull-wing engine hood service access, increased lift capacity, a left side cab, rugged undercarriage, KOMTRAX telematics, a powerful fuel-efficient engine, and more.

The XT465L-5 has all the same features, with a 58,341 lb-ft swing torque and tractive effort of 75,799 lbf.


The Tigercat LX830E is a high-production leveling feller buncher with near-zero tail-swing. Featuring the powerful Tigercat FPT C87 engine and closed loop drive system, the LX830E is well equipped to handle a variety of felling applications on steep slopes.

The powerful lift capacity, tight-tuck ER boom geometry, and compact tail-swing make the LX830E the perfect choice for selective felling where minimum site impact is important.

A redesigned engine enclosure provides improved roof access for cleaning debris. A boom slider also reduces debris buildup in hard to reach areas. The clamshell style enclosure and drop-down side platform allow easy access to all sides of the engine.

The updated cab on the LX830E includes a durable, roomy, air ride seat with heating and cooling. The full-length front window and narrow side posts give the operator an excellent view of the tracks and surrounding area. The standard-equipped skyVIEW and rearVIEW camera systems allow the operator to see above and behind the machine.

The Tigercat extreme duty leveling undercarriage is strong and stable, and the closed loop drive system provides the speed and tractive effort for high performance in the most challenging terrain.


TimberPro’s D-series feller bunchers — from the TN725D to the TL775D were designed for today’s loggers who demand more efficient and reliable equipment to remain profitable. At the heart of every D-series is a Cummins L9 (9-liter) Performance Series Stage 5 engine.

The TimberPro D-Series has been fitted with a new larger cab that has improved visibility out the front of the cab as well as the boom side, and high-output LED lighting will increase night time visibility in both the work area as well as directly under the cab to illuminate the tracks. The last major refinement of the cab is the addition of a digital climate control system to keep the cab temperature steady and comfortable.

The Cummins L9 Performance Series Stage V engine contains an EGR-free (exhaust gas recirculation) architecture and compact Single-Module after-treatment system. The L9 has an increased horsepower and torque rating, while maintaining an almost-zero tail-swing design, and due to smaller emissions components, the machines meet all Tier 4 Final requirements.

The new L9 engine also boasts increased fuel economy and longer maintenance intervals over the previous models that will contribute to a reduced cost of operation and lower overall total cost of ownership.

Weiler ForestryWeiler Forestry

The Weiler B458 is a reduced tail-swing track feller buncher with extended track roller frames and cable-assist hitch.

The B458 utilizes 11 rollers instead of the standard nine and offers an additional 29” of track length, while maximizing tractive effort. This provides increased stability, operator comfort, and performance. With the well-matched swing torque, 35” of unobstructed ground clearance, and the ability to cable-assist the machine as needed, the B458 is well suited for all steep slope applications.

The B458 features excellent multi-function capability with dedicated pumps, a new cab that maximizes operator experience, field-proven components, and excellent serviceability.

The spacious cab maximizes operator visibility by providing an open field of view to the work area and upward through a large skylight. An optional 14 LED light package is available for improved productivity in night shift operations, and an optional heated and cooled seat keeps operators comfortable all day long.

TimberWest November/December 2013
September/October 2022

Luke Peterson owner of Northwoods Forestry

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